Chris Horlick, Managing Director of Care at Partnership hopes for better relationships and greater understanding between the public and private sectors to facilitate more joint-working.
The role of local authorities has evolved over time and there is no doubt that they will continue to do so. Indeed, while local authorities currently look closely at how they can get the most out of their increasingly tight budgets, they are likely to have one eye on the future to try and prepare for the needs of their ever growing and changing society.
What we do know is that we have a rapidly ageing population which alongside advancements in medical treatments and technology means that people are living longer. This is of course something we must celebrate, but it does mean that local authorities will continue to see a huge demand for adult social care services.
With no obvious increase in government funding in the foreseeable future, local authorities will need to continue to look for new and innovative ways to make savings while still delivering the best possible services. At the same time, as has been demonstrated by the proposals set out in the Care Bill, more duties will be placed upon local authorities to deliver services to their populations.
It is clear that integration of health and social care is seen as a solution, and we can therefore predict that the councils of 2043 will have already fully integrated these services years in advance. However, one of the biggest challenges which will need to be overcome by local authorities is that of a culture shift towards more and better joint working between the public and private sectors so that services can be commissioned and delivered to an ever growing population. Both trust and relationships will need to be built between the two to ensure that this can happen.
Whatever is on the horizon for councils, they will continue to play a critical role in the lives of their citizens.